Law and State Practice in Azerbaijan: Dealing with the Issues Concerning the Search, Exhumation and Identification of Missing Persons in Conflict Zones

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Abstract

This article deals with missing persons in Azerbaijan. The issue of missing persons occurred because of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno- Karabakh region. About 5,000 people from all sides were reported as having gone missing by 2020. This article firstly contextualises the democratic and human rights situation in Azerbaijan since independence to understand the backdrop to the issues and why little progress has been made. It then examines what has been done, what the institutional framework is, and what the various problems are. It provides details on the issues concerning the search for, recovery, and identification of the missing. A newly reconstituted domestic State Commission for Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons has begun operating in the country but is not fully functional and needs to be more open and transparent, its membership ought to include civil society and the families of the missing, and it needs to do more actual searching. Ultimately, if progress is to occur, a process involving all parties to the conflict must be established. The article also finds that there are problems with the law concerning missing persons and that law reform is needed as the law is incomplete, vague, and complicated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-222
Number of pages22
JournalCaucasus Survey
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2022

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